I’ve always been fascinated by hands. They are beautiful, useful, and expressive. We use them to work, care for ourselves and other people, and communicate (just ask any Italian). No other body part can claim to do all that.
Recently, I was reminded of the power of the human hands when I had a facial treatment, for the first time in a long while. It was super relaxing and had me feeling luxuriously pampered in no time. Just proves that a hand is not just a hand. It has power that is literally at our fingertips!
German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, once said the hand is the “visible part of the brain.” This is so true! Physically, our hands have many more sensory and motor nerve endings than other parts of our bodies. As a consequence, our thoughts are readily expressed through our hands. When you touch another person, the pressure and movement of your hand tell that person your intention. In a reciprocal way, we are able to discover things about the person we are touching. In my profession, I am able to discover more about my client’s lifestyles, diets, and stress levels.
The Science Behind the Power in your Hands
Hands, we learn, have the power to impact the world. Let’s explore how this seemingly simple body part affects our brains, physical and emotional well-being, as well as our relationships.
If you’ve ever touched the hand of a newborn baby, then you’ve likely witnessed one of the earliest instinctual responses to manifest in humans: the “grasping reflex.” Instinct makes a baby grab your finger and squeeze it tight. Babies may relinquish the grasping reflex over time, but the importance and vitality of touch remain essential.
When holding hands with a lover or getting a massage, the stimulating pressure help improve the functioning of the vagus nerve — the cranial nerve that controls your parasympathetic nervous system also referred to as the “rest and digest” system. As a result, our body enters a state of relaxation — heart rate and blood pressure goes down — and this relaxation breeds healing. The more time we spend in this relaxed state, the healthier we are.
Creatures of comfort